"Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far." - Theodore Roosevelt.
Fig 1.0 World leaders representing their communities at a global summit
Leadership is an essential skill that is necessary in any industry. This is particularly true in the public sector, where leaders make decisions that can impact entire communities.
Whether you are a public servant looking to advance your career or an aspiring leader in the public sector, it is essential to develop and refine your leadership skills continually.
This blog post will discuss three basic strategies for developing leadership skills that are particularly relevant to the public sector.
Fig 2.0 Collaborative leadership style prefers teamwork.
1. Identify your Leadership Style
Understanding your leadership style is the first step in developing your leadership skills.
There are different leadership styles, including authoritative, visionary, and collaborative.
Authoritarian leaders make decisions independently, whereas visionary leaders seek input from others before deciding. Collaborative leaders prefer to work as a team.
To identify your leadership style, assess your strengths and weaknesses, understand how you approach decision-making and solicit feedback from others. Once you have placed your leadership style, work on strengthening those skills while developing new skills aligning with your style.
2. Build Trust and Credibility
Leadership is heavily rooted in trust and credibility. As a leader in the public sector, it is essential to lead by example, communicate openly, be reliable and consistent, and empower your team. Especially in a time of uncertainty, where there are high expectations for transparency and authenticity, building trust is critical to the success of both the leader and the teams—empowering and delegating help boost the morale and productivity of organizations.
Taking full accountability for the actions will increase the people's confidence and create harmony that leads to success.
3. Effective Communication
Fig 3.0 Clear and concise information using colorful stickers for presentation
Communication is a critical leadership skill, and public sector leaders need to master this skill.
Effective communication involves clear and concise messages that all stakeholders understand, active listening, tailoring messages for specific audiences & situations, utilizing different communication methods, and non-verbal communication that enhances the messages shared.
Open and transparent communication fosters trust, strengthens relationships, and encourages feedback and collaboration.
4. Continuous Learning and Feedback
Fig 4.0 Attending conferences opens the channel for new trends in continuous learning.
Leadership skills are not developed overnight and require continuous learning and feedback.
Seek out educational opportunities, engage in mentorship programs, read and learn about new trends in leadership, attend seminars and conferences, participate in leadership forums, and always be open to receiving feedback. Becoming a leader is not a one-time event but a lifelong journey of continuous development.
Leadership is not a one-size-fits-all concept. There is no single way to lead; It takes continuous learning, development, and preparation to become the best leader.
The critical components of developing your leadership skills include identifying your leadership style, building trust and credibility, communication strategies, continuous learning, and feedback. Utilize these strategies to take charge of your leadership journey and become the best public sector leader possible.
Remember that you do not need to be already in a leadership position to start developing your leadership skills. Anyone can be a leader if they embrace the right mindset and a commitment to continued learning and personal growth.